Saturday, January 28, 2006

Postal swim results

The swim challenge wasn't in our usual pool at the High School (which has been repaired but it needs a few days to flush out all the algae that I'm certain has took up residence in the past 2 weeks). So, we met at this outdoor pool - in January. Which was trippy since I still associate January with cold, but hey, this is Texas. Its warm here. Actually, once I got warm, swimming outside was nice. It was nice to look at the clouds and the trees while I swam.

Anyways, I met my goal of 3,000 yds in 60 minutes. I actually swam 3385 yds, w/out pain or losing focus or being horribly bored. Yay! My arms are beginning to be sore now, though, so I'm very happy I planned ahead and scheduled a massage tomorrow :)

Thanks for all the good luck wishes :)

Next week I have a relay meet - should be fun. Events include a beer chug relay (while you swim). I'll report back in a week with results. :)

I need this swimsuit

Now, I won't look as good as the model, but I still think "Rock Star" is highly appropriate for me :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Small adventures in Oklahoma

So, I'm in Oklahoma City for work. The place I'm at had a h-u-g-e fire a few months ago, and as a result, the landscape looks quite martian, with the red dirt poking thru the charred remains of grass and trees. The after affects of the fire are pretty cool. I mean, the entire site smells like a campfire, which makes me happy. And the trees! This place is loaded with cedar trees. And as it turns out, when cedar trees burn, they EXPLODE from the inside out, resulting in this tree I took a few too many photos of.

Far away shot of Cedar Explosion Tree:
Closer shot of Cedar Explosion Tree:
Another angle:
Another crazy feature left over from the fire were these crazy little balls scattered all over the ground. I asked the plant guy what they were, and he said they were some sort of vine fruit, and during the fire, the vines burned but the fruit stayed. I thought they were really interesting as well...

So, this has been my week at work thus far. Sure beats being trapped in my office!

Monday, January 23, 2006


That's how many yards I swam today all on my own. In an hour! Woo!

The regular pool is still broken with parts on order. The team practiced today at this outdoor pool, which I elected not to join. Its really not my idea of fun to swim outside when its 45 degrees and misting out. I paid my dues in summer league in HS in Colorado, swimming at 6 AM when it was 55-60 degrees out. I figure that was enough torture for this girl and I've paid my outdoor swimming dues.

So, I swam at yet-another 24-hour fitness this morning. 3 different pools in 3 workouts. Water was cloudy and for some crazy reason, they decided to have the horizontal jets BLASTING cold water at one end of the pool. And my blasting, I mean forceful enough to push me over to the side as I swam by.

I decided to treat today as a test for my 1-hr swim. Swam 48 minutes straight for 2800 yards. Crazy part is that I was barely even winded.... But my arms weren't tweaky/sore like they have been for the past few week and I didn't get bored since I broke up my swim into 12 minute intervals, with each interval having a different set of stuff to do.

Crazy people in the pool report:
- 1 lady doing very slow water jogging - but at least she was wearing appropriate attire.
- 1 hispanic younger lady fully clothed (t-shirt and shorts - but at least they were black!) who would swim 1/3 a length then stop for a full 2-3 minutes then swim another 1/3 length.
- and thanks to Stacers for commenting on this, we had old dude with flippers and full on snorkel gear doing freestyle. Sad part is that I was lapping him even w/out flippers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The pool is always greener....

Isn't that how the saying goes?

The chlorine pump at my pool is dead. It was a little cloudy yesterday (before we knew the pump was dead) and we showed up this morning and you couldn't even see the shallow end. Although the water was a pretty aqua color instead of mucky green. So, seeing as how my Postal is in 5 DAYS, myself and a friend headed over to a nearby gym where I have membership to swim. We get there and all 3 lanes are taken - by SLOW people. One lady had good form, so she is forgiven for her slowness. One guy had eh form, but he did offer to let me split the lane with him, so he is also forgiven for his slowness. Then there's this dude in the center lane. Older, going bald, wearing a speedo. Ok, you think, not so bad? So, he's swimming side stroke and wearing goggles on his forehead. Then he flips over to do backstroke - a very limp wristed version of backstroke, still with the goggles acting as fashion accessories rather than being on his eyes and functional. Then finally, mid-workout, I look over and see him doing elementary backstroke. Which, if you don't know, is face up and you do a frog kick. Older, not in shape gay man doing face up frog kick in a speedo.... I hope you weren't eating when you read that - if so, I'm sorry.

Then as a bonus, there was a chunky latino lady who was wearing shorts and a *nasty* saggy sports bra, with a clear shower cap over her head. She got in the lane with slow-but-nice guy and proceeded to spend a half hour jumping up and down. In the water in a saggy loose WHITE sports bra.

So, after all this, I guess the okd dude with both nipples pierced w/heavy gauge rings, parrot girl, and hermophrodite lady really aren't all that bad!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hermaphrodite swimmer “lady”

There’s this “lady” on my swim team. “Lady” only b/c she uses the women’s locker room instead of the men’s one. She’s a twig of a woman and well, not very pretty, with a very whiny nasally voice, that ironically isn’t far off from SNL’s Pat character. Her haircut looks like someone took a bowl to her head and used that as a guide. Her clothes strongly resemble men’s clothes - flat black loafers, trousers, and a button-down shirt (buttoned all the way to her neck). Oddly enough though, she has some interesting jewelry, from her travels abroad for work.

She only shows up to practice on Wednesdays. She shows up, puts her gear bag on the deck – open for all to see the contents as we walk from the locker room to the pool. She generally has a baggie of maxi pads and tampons on the top of the pile in her bag (further proof that she’s not a man?), which ew. Is it really that difficult to put your bag in the locker room like everyone else? The building is generally secure with little threat of things being stolen. Unfortunately, she likes to swim in my lane, which sucks, b/c her lane etiquette is horrible, and she’s actually much faster than she thinks she is. She always skips warm up and stretches. Then puts her cap on, without cramming all of her hair inside the cap. She’s got her bangs and the back of her hair sticking out of the cap. Which begs the question, what’s the point of wearing a cap? And really, I just can’t get past this whole hair/cap issue, b/c its really just so weird. And then the most annoying swimming feature – she refuses to wear flippers for the “flipper designated” swim sets. Which just upsets the natural order of things, as you really don’t have much time in between sets to set up a new swim order. Oh and did I mention she’s an over-achiever during practice? Little to no rest, and she swims more distance than what is required which usually causes her to swim over into the next set, which again upsets the rest of the swimmers in the lane b/c we have to accommodate her and fit her actions into our new set and swim order.

And then finally, the “what’s grosser than gross” portion of her demeanor. After practice, most of us generally take a shower in hopes that our skin won’t glow green from all the chlorine. So, I’m happily enjoying the hot water after practice. And every Wednesday, my post-workout vegetative state in the shower is interrupted by the sound of her blowing snot rockets IN THE SHOWER. She seriously can’t wait to get out of the shower and use tissue. And this morning was particularly gross, as she did this about 6 times and the drain was semi-clogged. Every time she shot a rocket, I mumbled “gross”. She’s pretty clueless and definitely would not see this as a hint. But for some reason, I can’t manage to bitch-up and chew her ass out for this disgusting act. Which is very uncharacteristic of me, b/c generally, there’s nothing I love more than to get my bitch on. Maybe I have been inhaling a few too many chlorine fumes?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A matter of degrees

So, the thermostat at the pool is a goner. As in we have no temperature control – the heat it either on or off. Not a huge problem in summer. But right now, its not so fun. The HS kept the heater on all weekend, and on Monday, the pool’s resultant temperature was 85 degrees. Think bath water. Think Gulf of Mexico in summer. Think of me trying to swim a hard workout without puking due to the heat. Sure, it was easy jumping into the pool, but even during warm-up, I was too hot. Coach killed the heat after practice. Today’s resultant temperature was 84 degrees. I dipped my toes in and it felt *much* colder. I even shivered a few times during practice. It amazes me how HUGE of a difference a degree or two makes for water temperatures. 5 degrees is a matter of being too hot, too cold, or just right. Can we say Goldilocks anyone? Should I be swimming in porridge instead of chlorinated water?

There’s air temperature degrees. We’re in this oingo-boingo phase where the temperature undulates from warm to cold, from cool and crisp to muggy and uncomfortable.

Then there are other degrees. The fancy diploma I have on my wall which tells me I’m an engineer. Even though lately, I don’t feel like much of one. Being an engineer was so much a part of my identity. And now that those brain cells have been on hiatus for so long, I’m not sure I remember how to be an engineer. How to have confidence in my skills that the framed document on my wall professes me to possess. And I’m not sure I want to be an engineer anymore. I’m sure that if I was happy with where I was work-wise, things would be different. But they’re not and at this point, I’m not sure that even switching jobs would help. Or if I switched jobs, I could be motivated to perform or behave like an engineer.

And finally, there’s the degree in which I feel like I should be making an effort with things. Like my job. Sure, I have work to do. And some of it is even interesting for once. But given all the crap that transpired in the past month, I just don’t really feel like putting forth the effort. To me, its much more fun and rewarding to work on promoting my jewelry, reading TWOP and gossip columns, and dreaming of what my life could or should be like.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Place your Vote: Freak Magnet T-shirt

So, I was bored the last 30 min at work and came up with these designs (courtesey of Place your vote in the comments and I may or may not pick the majority winner.

#1 - conventional, but gets to the point

#2 Bold graphic tiles... refridgerator magents perhaps?

#3 Mr. Roboto. I don't know, clunky robots = freaks?

#4 Rocket Turtle! I mean, what's cooler than a rocket turtle. Really, come on. He's cool and needs to be on a t-shirt.

Ummm, yeah.... thanks

Went on a site with a new client today - with a new co-worker. At lunch, with new client, Co-worker actually said out loud and in front of new client that he would sit with his back to the TV so that way I could watch the soap opera that was on. I blinked in disbelief. Thought about saying hey that's ok, my TiVo has that issue covered just to be a smart ass. Except for the fact that I loathe soap operas and I didn't want this guy to have the impression that I was a "girl" who was the type that enjoyed vapid pointless shows that are only on during the day. So I just told him that I don't watch soap operas, but thanks for thinking of me. What else can you say?

Then later, I'm driving us back to the office. The highway exit is on the left side of the highway. I typically don't drive on that part of the highway and was a bit unsure of where the ramp was. So he kindly informed me of this bit of trivia. Yes he called it trivia. And he said it in a very friendly, "I'm just trying to help kind" of way. He told me that for highway signs posted overhead, its standard practice for exits on the left to have signs on the left. That way you can always tell which side of the highway the exit is on.

Yeahhhh, thanks for that. Why can't I get coworkers that are normal. Its because I'm a freak magnet. I really should make myself a shirt that says that. It would be very appropriate.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wednesday Updates Galore!

NYE Update: we were incredibly, pathetically lame this year. Seeing as how I was pretty tired of drinking fdue to my mid-day work week adventures, I actually turned down the St. Arnolds brewery tour (and free beer!). I just didn't think that free and relatively unlimited beer at 1 PM was the best thing for me. Instead, I stayed home while Will went and stained cabinets. Then we went to dinner and watched Fantastic Four and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We sure know how to party. But sadly (and pathetically) it was nicer than last year where after who knows how many tequilla shots, I ended up passed out under a tree downtown.

Burn Update: The burn on my finger from the ill-fated Christmas turkey flip STILL is in scab form. Since I was in gloves doing my cabinets right after the burn, the blister came off. Then it became infected. And while it’s not infected anymore – it still hasn’t healed! This sucker’s gonna leave a scar. Must figure out how I can apply Vitamin E without being licked to death by Swift kitty. She looooves vitamin E oil. Its just not right.

Cabinet Update: I’m about 90% done. Stained and varnished them last weekend. And they do look quite nice if I have to say so myself. All that’s left is to knock off the drips with a utility knife (and not injure myself in the process) and put the doors back up. Time spent so far on cabinets: 30 hrs.

Work Update: After being an ultimate slacker last week (as in leaving at lunch Wed and Thurs to go drink alcohol…. and not doing so on vacation time..), I now have to actually WORK this week. And I actually have some work to do. Hopefully my managers will let me actually work without impeding me with idiotic emails and questions.

Swimming Update: strangely, we haven’t been doing crazy long distance sets at practice. As in “choose a distance you can complete in 30 minutes. Now go.” We’ve been doing smaller intervals, which is ok, but I show up every morning being mentally psyched to swim long distances, and then the longest distance we swim w/out stopping is 300 yards. Its kind of a let down. Sure, I’m still getting in some decent overall yardage (2900 yds today – I’m kinda pissed I didn’t push to get in that extra 100 yds to make it an even 3k), but we’re 3 weeks away from our hour challenge and I’m one of those types who has to plan and practice then plan some more.

Chlorine has been fixed in the pool, which is soooo lovely. Its nice to not have to wake up in the middle of the night b/c my skin is itching so much. Those 2 weeks of over-chlorination really did wreak havoc with my gear, though. My Velcro watch band went from back to chartreuse and is very threadbare. And my swimsuit, while being chlorine resistant (these suits kick ass, btw – totally worth the extra money) the straps were not immune to the chlorine and are a lovely icky shade of gray and are stretched out. I really would love to send the HS coach an invoice asking him to replace my gear.

Diet Update: Since I got on different thyroid meds and was diagnosed as hypoglycemic, I’ve lost 10 lbs. Yay me! The hypoglycemic diet is going pretty good – its really not all that hard to follow, as long as I’ve planned ahead and make smart choices. Last week, choices were not so smart. Too much alcohol. It appears that any more than 2 drinks and my blood sugar gets all out of whack and it takes at least a day to get back to normal. Which sucks, b/c it makes me feel like ass, but I had none of the fun the night before.

Homebrew Update: Will purchased 2 more mini-kegs, so we are up to 3 mini-kegs for a total capacity of 15 gallons. We are currently researching a mini kegarator for our beer room. B/c right now we have a full keg o’ beer, but its warm, and therefore not so appealing to me. As if I have any business drinking beer, as evidenced above.

TV Update: TV this week still is sucking. I’m all caught up on Supernatural. Methinks I could watch Dean all day long…. Mmm, Dean. I Tivo’d the What Not To Wear marathon on Monday, just so I’d have something to watch during the week. Lost is new – they supposedly have 2 episodes, but I suspect the 1st one this week is a recap montage of what has happened to date this season…. I’ve also recently read that JJ isn’t even writing for Lost this season, due to his commitments for Mission Impossible 3. a) do we really NEED MI:3? No. And b) JJ seems to be having issues staying focused on his projects. Project jumping really isn’t a good quality b/c then your other shows seem to suffer. On a good note, Battlestar is back up this week, which ALL THE BETTER. I missed my weekly Apollo fix. I'm very curious to see where they go with the rest of the season.